Japanese Cheese: Tokachi Millenium Forest


The Japanese have been steadily increasing their own cheese production for the last 10 years or so with some reamarkable results.
Moreover, these cheese have slowly but steadily become available over the whole country at specialised shops and department stores.


My last discovery concerns a whole range of goat cheeses created by Fran Fran Farm under the name of Tokachi Millenium Forest Company. The company was founded on September 21st 1996 with the idea of producing local products and promoting the environment.
The cheeses, if somewhat mild in taste, are definitely worth exploring!

Here is what I found about them:


This cheese is inspired by, if not the shape, French Saint-Maure, a fresh goat-cheese type covered with wood ash.
Firm, but easy, it is very mild. To be savoured on its own.


This particular cheese has the shape, colour and texture, and the taste of a French Valencay. Solid but soft on the tongue. Great on its own or with a salad.


This cheese is semi-hard type, very reminscent of the same produced in Italy.
Stronger taste, but very pleasant. Great on its own or cooked.


This cheese is reminiscent of a French Santranges before aging dries it up and leaves mold on its surface.
Firm in texture,but soft on the tongue in spite of a pronouced taste.
Would be greated toasted on a salad!


This cheese is the only one made from raw milk in that series.
Very much like a fresh Brousse from Corsica, France. Has already developped a strong taste of its own. If aged properly, coild become a very interesting cheese. To be eaten on its own with a Port!

All these are surprisingly “mature” in taste for Japanese cheese, which shows that cheese in Japan definitely has a future!

Fran Fran Farm
Hokkaido, Kamikawa Gun, Shimizu Cho, Hatainan, 10 sen
Tel.: (81)(0)156-63-3400

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sake, shochu and sushi


12 thoughts on “Japanese Cheese: Tokachi Millenium Forest”

  1. Hi,
    I once saw this tv/doco of this food traveller visiting japanese cheesemakers what looked to be countryside. They showed some special looking cheeses, e.g. some with a leaf put on top. I’m visiting japan in May & was wondering if you knew other places to visit? Possibly south of Tokyo as well?
    Many thanks,


      1. thanks for your help. i’ve recently found that there are some cheese makers in nagano area, have you ever visited any?


      2. hi robert,
        maybe i should grab your email? we’re planning to come shizuoka, from Kyoto. i tried emailing Restaurant Gentil to make a reservation, but haven’t heard back. would you know what else their menu is like?


  2. It does not surprise me in the least that the Japanese are getting into cheese making. Their sense of precision and patience has always served them well when in the kitchen. They took on French food in the 80’s and replicated and perfected everything they touched. I’ve worked with Japanese cooks in French kitchens – they move like ballet dancers… I can only imagine that their cheeses reflect their skill! Great post, thank you so much!


    1. Dear Friend!
      Thank you for your kind comment!
      You are absolutely right!
      It’s only a question of when the Japanese will get used to raw milk cheeses!
      They even have started producing some varieties in my Perfecture at the foot of Mount Fuji, including mozzarella!


      1. Hi Robert,
        Where would this place be in Mt Fuji to visit? And again any other independent cheese makers worth visiting?


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